Be responsive rather than reactive. If you have a general impression that jokes are a form of attack that involve criticizing or disapproving of you, then it's time to challenge your expectations. By continuing to overreact to jokes, not only do you risk giving up the opportunity for a good laugh but you might be basing your self-esteem on the approval of others. If you see jokes as a lack of approval in you, you remain vulnerable and easily victimized. It's up to you to re-establish your emotional stability and to base your sense of self-worth on believing in yourself, not on waiting for other's approval. By being responsive rather than overreacting, whether or not a joke is aimed at you, you won't take it personally and you will maintain your sense of self-worth. Instead of allowing self-doubt to consume you, responsiveness lets you see the jokes in perspective and use reason rather than emotion in responding to the joke. To be responsive:
Realize that most jokes are benign. Realize that even where they are not and even where they are targeted at you personally, that they do not diminish your self-worth. Only you can allow that to happen.
Acknowledge your defensiveness. Allowing a joke to get to you increases its power and lets the situation drag on well beyond its initial impact. If you feel that the other person is withholding approval by joking about you and you want to try to prove some point by acting offended or superior, then you're being defensive and letting this person's attitude rule you. Even if the joke was vindictive, avoid turning it into an issue of conflict or drama. Instead, notice your defensiveness so that you can shift to neutralizing your response.
Keep your response measured and composed. Simple statements of fact are best, such as "That wasn't very polite/nice." or "You're entitled to your opinion." Or sometimes, nothing at all is the best response, or simply change the topic of conversation.
· Wed Oct 14, 2015 @ 11:11am · 0 Comments